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Tomato Cans: January 29, 2009

Buster_medium And it's finally done. It's finally done. The May 2 clash between junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is signed and completed. Hatton and Pacquiao will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The 50/50 split is in place, though Pacquiao's guarantee is much bigger than Hatton's.

Says Golden Boy chief Oscar de la Hoya, "I think Hatton will dethrone Pacquiao and become boxing's pound-for-pound king."

Says I back to Oscar, "That ain't how it works, Golden Dude."

Pound-for-pound, you see, is mythical. It's not, like, real. It's an opinion. A consensus opinion, but an opinion. And it's not like anyone has Hatton in the top five. Do you? You do? You're bananas.

As for what Hatton's trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is thinking, he says, "Manny's chances are slim and none. If he doesn't run, we'll get him in one."

It's pretty awesome that that rhymes, but fairly stupid.

Nonito Donaire's fight with Raul Martinez has been pushed to March 22 in Manila. It'll be Donaire's first fight since his November win over Moruti Mthalane, and he only fought once in 2008. Good thing he got away from Gary Shaw and that lazy matchmaking.

Friday Night Fights is going to have a hell of a show on February 20, with Breidis Prescott (20-0, 18 KO) facing Humberto Toledo (34-5-2, 20 KO), plus Yuriorkis Gamboa in action as well as Richar Gutierrez, who I'm hoping will be called Richar by more places than his promoter's office and this blog. He noted on HBO last year that his name is not Richard, it's Richar. Then he lost to Alfredo Angulo. Erislandy Lara will also be on the FNF card. Both Gamboa and Prescott are also tentatively scheduled for the April 3 Shobox card in Gamboa's U.S. "home arena" in Primm, Nevada.

You can forget the brief hope we had that Rafael Marquez and Daniel Ponce de Leon would hook up for a fight. The Marquez camp isn't interested. They have "other plans." I bet they do.

Just in case you've missed the finalized card for the February 21 split-site Top Rank PPV, here it is:

Middleweight Championship: Kelly Pavlik (34-1, 30 KO) v. Marco Antonio Rubio (43-4-1, 37 KO)

Vacant WBO Welterweight Title: Miguel Cotto (32-1, 26 KO) v. Michael Jennings (34-1, 16 KO)

John Duddy (25-0, 17 KO) v. Matt Vanda (39-8, 22 KO)

Anthony Peterson (28-0, 19 KO) v. Edner Cherry (24-6-2, 12 KO)

Four legitimate fights. Peterson-Cherry isn't going to turn anyone's boat motors on or anything, but Cherry's got skills. Duddy-Vanda will be a war. Cotto-Jennings is an acceptable return fight for Cotto. And the closer we get, the more I love Pavlik-Rubio. Pavlik will be out to make a statement, and for Rubio this is a huge opportunity. I'm genuinely OK with paying 35-40 bucks to see this card.

Another if you missed it: Jose Canseco and Danny Bonaduce drew in a "celebrity" boxing match. The fight consisted of three, one-minute rounds, so it was a three-minute "fight." Canseco stands about 6'4", while Bonaduce is 5'6". Said Canseco after the fight, "If he were my size, he probably would've knocked me out of the ring." Most of the crowd (about 1,500) started to leave before a decision was announced, and I don't get these things because Canseco generally admits he can't fight worth a damn. I know he needs the money, but couldn't he just get a job?

On the subject of "bad boys," Ricardo Mayorga no-showed the promotional event in Sunrise, Fla., for the February 14 HBO triple-header that he's headlining. Hey, whadda ya gonna do? You buys your ticket with Ricardo, you takes your chance.

On the subject of crazies, actor Mickey Rourke will be boxing WWE star Chris Jericho at WrestleMania this year. I've said before I was a huge pro wrestling fan growing up, and I still love watching the older stuff, but today I just can't watch. It's that loser John Cena what ruined wrestling for me. Anyway, Rourke's new movie The Wrestler is up for Oscars and Rourke just won the Golden Globe for Best Actor (Drama), so I'd imagine this is Vince McMahon capitalizing even though the movie doesn't exactly glorify the pro wrestling industry.

I saw the movie, and I think it works better if you don't already know all those things about pro wrestling. Like if it would shock you that a washed-up wrestler lives in a trailer and scrapes through life. It's good, though. I have to admit it does amuse me that Rourke gets some press again for acting, and immediately he's off trying to do other things again. Give it up, Mickey. You're an actor.

Larry Merchant will be with HBO through 2011.

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